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lathe cleanup question.

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  • lathe cleanup question.

    I've dismantled and I'm in the proccess of cleaning up and painting my lathe (14" Logan). It's going well and the paint looks great, but I was wondering what others have done to bring the finish back to the machined parts of an older tool. I'd like the exposed metal to look as good as the freshly painted parts, and I'd like to do something to protect those parts as well.


  • #2
    Can't see what stage you're at, but I use ScotchBrite and light oil for protection.


    • #3
      I used automotive rubbing compound and a soft cloth. It removes the corrosion but not the base metal.A coat of car wax keeps the shine going even in my unheated Wisconson shop.


      • #4
        I wouldn't put anything waxy on the ways, just use light oil.


        • #5
          If it is for display only, shine it up, use wax etc.

          if it is for use, paint a "functional" paint job and keep everything oiled. Then it won't rust, and slidy stuff will slide....

          Aside from that, paint is essentially a "consumable coating". It will wear off from chips etc. So going to a lot of trouble is IMO not worth it.

          Keep eye on ball.
          Hashim Khan


          • #6
            Yes, the wax was only used on the handles and dials, moving "raw" parts got oiled- sorry I wasn't clear.


            • #7
              Applied along with liberal amounts of elbow grease, Never-Dull does a nice job of cleaning up and shining bare metal surfaces.

              Never-Dull is a cotton wadding material saturated with some sort of kerosiney smelling stuff. Very lightly abrasive. Usually available in small metal cans at finer hardware stores in your area.

              I swear by it. ...and after an hour or so of rubbing, sometimes even SWEAR AT IT.
              Seriously, it's not an effortless, magic formula, but it does work well on light rust and staining.
              Lynn (Huntsville, AL)


              • #8
                lynnl, it's that staining I'm hoping to get rid of.

                The machine will be used, so I have no doubt the paint will suffer along the way, but I figured I'd make it pretty while it was apart and take some pictures after it's back together. Before it's covered in chips and oil.

                When I got the machine it was covered in some crusty remnant of whatever cutting fluid was used when it was a production machine, 20 lbs of cat litter in the chip tray and the normal grimy oil that builds up on a machine not used in a long while.



                • #9
                  I do like nice looking stuff but I would never wax a lathe or any machinery. My car or my guitar, yes, machines no. The scotch brite pads on buffer wheels in a drill would make a nice finish, but be carefull they do remove metal.
                  It's only ink and paper


                  • #10
                    I have used the finer ScotchBrite pads *by hand* after using a nice flat stone to knock down the high spots. This gets you close. I then used Flitz metal polish on a rag to buff away staining if you want to go that far. I made my Bridgeport mill table look pretty darned nice in spite of its production use for many years. I was fortunate that it only had a couple of small boo-boos, but it did have lots of what I would characterize as tiny tool scratches. After stoning and cleanup, it just "feels good".

                    Does it work better polished? Not likely, but careful stoning and cleanup will likely make it easier to tram the head as the indicator or even 123 block used as a puck should slide real nice

                    We home-shop types have the luxury of treating our stuff a bit nicer than you could afford to do in a production environment. Far be it from me to discourage that.

                    Paul Carpenter
                    Mapleton, IL